• Project No 3050
  • Project Name Assigning and maintaining appropriate pathogen LRVs in MBRs
  • Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
  • Research Lead University of Wollongong
  • Main Researcher Prof Faisal Hai
  • Completion Year 2024

Project Description

Traditionally, Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Validation is focussed on performance during commissioning when membranes are new, and the range of operating conditions are limited. As membranes age it is important to understand how MBR performance changes to have confidence in the quality of the water produced. Gathering data on the relationships between operational monitoring parameters such as turbidity and pathogen removal during the life of membranes would assist operators to understand the ongoing performance of membranes compared with initial performance.

The former Water Recycling Centre of Excellence developed the MBR Validation Protocol. This protocol was prepared as part of NatVal to provide guidance for the validation of MBRs. It proposed a tiered approach that allowed for a simplified process where log reduction values (LRVs) are claimed.

The aim of this project is to collect and review performance data from a broad range of operating MBR facilities in Australia to understand the pathogen LRV performance in relation to operating conditions and monitoring parameters; targeting a range of membrane age, integrity, performance, and control. This will allow water managers to understand and predict the ongoing performance of MBR plants compared to initial performance, informing future MBR design and also assisting in optimising membrane lifecycle planning. This research will also provide operators and regulators with greater confidence MBR operation throughout the asset life, and lower the whole of life cost of MBR ownership for water service providers by maximising the validated operating envelope.